As former coach Ravi Shastri envisaged, India’s Test team managed to take the pitch out of the equation on a regular basis, notching up some memorable victories overseas over the last few years. For sure, India have become a better travelling team and that has overshadowed how dominant they have been at home in the last few years.
India take on New Zealand as they begin a home Test series for the first time in the new World Test Championship cycle. New Zealand are the reigning world Test champions and India don’t have an array of stars, including captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah, for the series opener in Kanpur but the visiting captain Kane Williamson conceded that visitors are not favorites to win the series.
Also Read: Not concerned about my form, says skipper Rahane
Legendary Richard Hadlee has said that India are nearly unbeatable at home. Former coach Ravi Shastri had once bragged that visiting teams hardly stand a chance to trouble India in Tests at home. These are not exaggerations. The numbers don’t lie.
INDIA ‘NEARLY UNBEATABLE’ AT HOME
India defeated England 3-1 to register their 13th successive home Test series win in 2021 (AFP Photo)
Since the start of 2013, India have won 13 successive series at home, eclipsing Australia’s streak of 10 (Between 2000 and 2008) by a considerable margin. During the said period, India have played 38 Tests, lost only 2 of them and won 31 of them. Dominant!
India have beaten 8 Test-playing nations during the 8-year period, hammering England and Australia twice while also clinching one-off wins over Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
India lost to England 1-2 under MS Dhoni’s captaincy in 2012-13 but the Asian giants have never let an opposition team breach the fortress ever since. Steve Smith’s Australia came the closest to do the improbable as they headed into the final Test of 4-match series with a 1-1 scoreline in 2017. Joe Root’s England began their campaign with a clinical win over India in Chennai in 2021 but they were outplayed comfortably by Virat Kohli’s men 3-1 at the end of the series.
A look at India’s dominant home Tests run since 2013
India were tested by a visiting Australian team in 2017. The hosts won the series 2-1 in Dharamsala (AP Photo)
- 2012-13 – India beat Australia 4-0
- 2013-14 – India beat West Indies 2-0
- 2015-16 – India beat South Africa 3-0 (4-Test series)
- 2016-17 – India beat New Zealand 3-0
- 2016-17 – India beat England 4-0 (5-Test series)
- 2016-17 – India beat Bangladesh 1-0 (one-off Test)
- 2016-17 – India beat Australia 2-1 (4-Test series)
- 2017/18 – India beat Sri Lanka 1-0 (3-Test series)
- 2018 – India beat Afghanistan 1-0 (one-off Test)
- 2018/19 – India beat West Indies 2-0
- 2019/20 – India beat South Africa 3-0
- 2019/20 – India beat Bangladesh 2-0
- 2020/21 – India beat England 3-1 (4-Test series)
Before the start of the enviable home run, India also hammered New Zealand 2-0 in 2012.
It’s certainly an enormous task for Kane Williamson’s men. Notably, New Zealand, The last time the Black Caps won a Test in India is in 1988 by a team led by former India coach John Wright. They have never won a series in India.
All eyes will be on Rahul Dravid as the new India head coach has certainly inherited a great Test team. Dravid-Ajinkya Rahane combination will be expected to overcome the Black Caps challenge in Kanpur before Virat Kohli returns to lead the side in Mumbai.